LDS Church to host first-ever celebration of 1978 revelation

The Salt Lake Tribune/May 30, 2008

For the first time ever, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will host a celebration of the 1978 revelation ending the ban on blacks being ordained to the church's all-male priesthood.

In past years, Genesis, a support group for Mormon blacks and their families, organized the commemoration.

On June 8, the 30th anniversary festivities will feature a speech by Elder Sheldon F. Child of the LDS First Quorum of Seventy and several black members sharing their experiences.

Mack Wilberg, conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, will direct a multicultural choir. The LDS Church also will present a short video commemorating the momentous event. The video will include interviews with several Genesis members as well as other African-American Latter-day Saints.

LDS President Thomas S. Monson and Apostle Boyd K. Packer, who were among Genesis' organizers when the group was established in 1971, were scheduled to attend and speak but are not on the program now.

"The announcements of program specifics for the June 8th commemoration had not been finalized and were released prematurely," said LDS spokesman Mark Tuttle. "Schedules and travel requirements for general authorities frequently shift and therefore speaking assignments are always subject to change."

Genesis had a limited number of tickets set aside for Genesis members, and those tickets have all been committed. They will be distributed on Sunday, June 1, at 7 p.m. at the

Genesis meetinghouse, 6710 South 1300 East, Midvale, and at the Genesis Picnic on Saturday, June 7.

Overflow locations for the evening will be established to accommodate people who are unable to get into the Tabernacle.

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